ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif yesterday said that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is a game changer and all the provinces of the country will reap benefits from it.

Talking to a group of Chinese investors interested in investing in some hydropower projects, the Prime Minister said that the project is a window of opportunity that would bring socio-economic development across the country particularly in Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa provinces which are relatively less developed. The Prime Minister, welcomed the interest shown by the Chinese investors in Pakistan’s hydel energy sector and said that hydro-electric sector was priority of the govt.

Pakistan was resolving its energy crisis by investing in different sources of energy including solar, thermal and hydro energy projects and the govt had already secured billions of dollars from International Financial Institutions for the construction of Dasu dam in KPK, he added.

The Prime Minister said that future investment by China Three Gorges International in the hydel energy sector would enable the government to overcome the energy shortfall.

The Chinese investors appreciated the economic policies of the government and expressed confidence that the transparent investment regime in the country will attract more Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

Later in the briefing on the CPEC and its extended projects to Prime Minister it was informed that the priority energy projects under CPEC include Port Qasim Electric Company Coal Fired Plant (1320 MW); Sahiwal Coal-fired Power Plant (1320 MW); Engro Thar Coal-fired Power Plant (1320 MW); Surface Mine in Block II of Thar Coal field 6.5 mtpa; Gwadar Coal Power Project (300 MW); HUBCO Coal Power Plant (660 MW); Rahimyar Khan Coal Power Project (1320 MW); SSRL Thar Coal Block 6.5mpta & CPIH Mine Mouth Power Plant, Thar, Sindh; Coal Fired Power Project Thar block-I (1320 MW); Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park, Bahawalpur (1000 MW); Dawood Wind Farm, Bhambore, Sindh (50MW); UEP 100MW Wind Farm, Jhimpir, Sindh; Sachal 50MW Wind Farm, Jhimpir, Sindh; Sunnec 50MW Wind Farm, Nooriabad,Thatta, Sindh.

Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif said that Gwadar was being uplifted as an international free port and govt was undertaking several projects for its development. Eastbay Expressway-II; Gwadar Port Authority (GPA) Expansion of Multipurpose Terminal including breakwater & dredging; Infrastructure for Free Zone & EPZs port related industries; Necessary Facilities of Fresh Water Treatment and Supply; Hospital; Technical and Vocational Institute; The only aviation project (New Gwadar International Airport); Energy projects including Gaddani, Hubco and Gwadar Power Plants (2940 MW), Free Zone of CPEC in Gwadar , Development of Smart City at Gwadar are part of the Gwadar uplift projects.

The Prime Minister stated that CPEC is a fusion of multiple development projects, aiming at the prosperity and well-being of the citizens of the country and the region at large. It was also informed that Joint Working Group was being formulated under CPEC framework under which all provinces were being consulted to give technically sound and financially viable recommendations of industrial/economic zone cooperation for scrutiny by Joint Working Group and experts.

The meeting was informed that preliminary working on the proposed sites for construction of economic zones have been identified by BOI in KPK and Balochistan. The spotted places in KPK for construction of economic zones are Mansehra, Nowshehra, Hattar, Ghazi, D.I Khan, Kohat, Karak and Bannu while in Balochistan Turbat, Khuzdar, Dasht, Bostan, Qila Saifullah and Zhob.

The Prime Minister will announce the finalise sites for construction of economic zones in KPK and Balochistan after consultation with the provincial governments and the political leaderships.

The meeting was further briefed that the existing roads are being upgraded to interconnect different areas of the country that include; 650 KM Gwadar-Surab Road is being completed on priority to link the all important Gwadar Port with rest of the country. The upgradation of Quetta-DI Khan Road is also imperative keeping in view its importance.

The meeting discussed in detail the CPEC projects in KPK. It was briefed that KPK will be Trade and Logistic passage zone under CPEC.

The CPEC in KP includes multiple areas including Rail and Road Networks, including Swat Motorway Project (81 km) worth US $365 Million; Oil and Gas Sector; development of Industrial/Economic Zones; Mineral Processing and Development Zones; telecommunication Sector; Agriculture Sector Development and Human Resource Development among others. It was also informed that CPEC-Energy Actively Promoted Project include Gaddani Power Park Project, HUBCO coal power plant, Hub Balochistan (660 MW), Salt Range Mine Mouth Power Project, Kohala Hydel Project, AJK (1100 MW), Pakistan Wind Farm, Jhampir, Thatta, Sindh (100 MW), Thar Mine Mouth Oracle, Thar Sindh, Muzaffargarh Coal Power Project (1320 MW), Salt Range Mine Mouth Power Project including mining with the cooperation of China Machinery Engineering Company, Kohala Hydel Project, AJK and Pakistan Wind Farm II, Jhampir, Thatta, Sindh.